Rachel Combs

     Rachel Combs Rachel is a PhD student within the Translational Plant Sciences program. She is from St. Louis and received her bachelor’s degree in Biology at the University of Missouri. She previously worked with soybean in Dr. Kristin Bilyeu’s lab, learning about molecular genetics and breeding, allele identification/characterization, and bioinformatics. One of her main projects was focused on genetically altering the fatty acid composition of soybean oil to improve oil nutrition and functionality. Rachel also participated in the Plant Genomics NSF REU program at Michigan State in the summer of 2018, where she studied the acylsugar biosynthetic pathway in tomato. During Rachel’s rotation in the Gschwend lab, she will work with field pennycress, a promising biofuel crop, to identify genes involved in fatty acid synthesis in developing seeds. In addition, she will be contributing to the wild grapevine genome project and analyzing transcriptomic data from cultivated grapevine.